Monday, October 15, 2018

Toolbox

  • Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018
Cooke to bring lens Innovations to IBC
Cooke Optics S7/i Full Frame Plus lens
LEICESTER, UK -- 

Cooke Optics will present its latest lens ranges and focal lengths on Stand 12.D10 at IBC 2018 running from Sept. 13-18. The 65mm Macro and 21mm lenses for the Panchro/i Classic range are now in production and will be available for demonstration for the first time on the stand, along with lenses from the S7/i, miniS4/i, Anamorphic/i, Anamorphic/i SF and families.

“It is 20 years since we built our flagship S4/i prime lenses, which are still in demand and back-ordered to this day,” said Les Zellan, chairman, Cooke Optics. “I’m very proud of what we have achieved since then, launching a further seven lens sets--all designed and built from the ground up for industry use--that give cinematographers incredible choice while retaining our famed ‘Cooke Look’ across the range. While it’s nice to look back for a minute, the Cooke team and I are fully focused on the future, with a new range to launch at IBC and more innovations to come.”

The S7/i Full Frame Plus lens range was the first large format lens set on the market, and has been purpose-built to cover the new full frame cinema camera sensors up to the full sensor area (46.31mm image circle), including the RED Weapon 8K, ARRI ALEXA LF and Sony Venice.

Panchro/i Classic prime lenses offer the vintage look of the beloved Speed Panchros but with the benefit of modern housing, mounts and glass.

The Anamorphic/i 45-450mm T4.5-22 zoom lens features 10x zoom front anamorphic, 5’10” MOD from image plane and 3’11” close focus from the front of the lens.

Anamorphic/i SF (“Special Flair”) lenses features a coating that provides even more of the flare, bokeh and other aberrations synonymous with the anamorphic look. The miniS4/i range delivers smaller, lighter lenses that offer the same resolution, optical quality and reliability as the S4/i, but at a lower price. The 5/i family offers T1.4 speed and a focus ring that illuminates when you need it, as well as superb optical and mechanical performance, control of flare, distortion, veiling glare and spherical aberrations at full aperture.

  • Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018
Blackmagic Design, Apple Team On Blackmagic eGPU
The Blackmagic eGPU
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design introduces the Blackmagic eGPU, a high performance graphics processor for pro creative software such as DaVinci Resolve, 3D games and VR. Designed in collaboration with Apple, the Blackmagic eGPU features a built-in Radeon Pro 580, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI 2.0, 85W of charging power and four USB 3.1 connections. It comes in an integrated design that brings high-end desktop class graphics processing to MacBook Pro for professional video workflows, 3D games and immersive VR. And, the Blackmagic eGPU is the first to support Thunderbolt 3 displays.

Created to address the needs of professional video editors, Hollywood colorists and visual effects artists who need to remain mobile, but want the power of a desktop class GPU added to their MacBook Pro, the Blackmagic eGPU is flexible and simply plugs in via Thunderbolt 3, so users can benefit from improved graphics performance and acceleration of computational tasks. It’s perfect for speeding up professional creative application workflows including editing, color correction and visual effects with DaVinci Resolve.

The Blackmagic eGPU adds the performance customers need to make the latest 3D games and VR look increasingly realistic. That means customers will get higher resolution images, higher frame rate gameplay, better lighting and more detailed textures for truly immersive experiences, even on a laptop computer. Customers running DaVinci Resolve 15 can expect increased performance for editing with more real time effects, color corrections with more nodes and spectacular ResolveFX such as film grain, light rays, blurs and more.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018
eFootage scans thousands of hours of film with Cintel Scanners
efootage deploys the Cintel scanner for thousands of hours of contemporary and historical stock footage
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design has announced that eFootage, a provider of contemporary and historical stock footage, is using two Cintel Scanners, six Teranex 2D Processor standards converters and DaVinci Resolve Studio as part of its scanning, archiving and film preservation workflow.

Spanning more than 100 years of motion image history, eFootage holds a vast quantity of news material, especially from 1960 through the present, as well as deep, eclectic collections of silent film white and color industrials, newsreels, lifestyle footage, world travel elements, and 35mm design and blue screen holdings. Clips are available for licensing and download via the company’s website, www.eFootage.com/.

“Over the years, we have purchased a variety of existing libraries and have licensed others,” explained partner Paul Lisy. “We welcome discussions with content holders on how we can help monetize their holdings, and we also provide footage research and related services for specific projects, as well as some production work.”

Lisy added, “We have sought to procure and present unique, often rare film and video clips of the highest possible quality. Currently, we are in the midst of a multi-year push to digitize and present online, often at HD and 4K resolutions, the bulk of our vast repository, much of which we will be offering for the very first time. We have scanned a couple thousand hours of content at this point, with much more to go.”

Prior to purchasing the Cintel Scanners, scanning most of eFootage’s 35mm material wasn’t economically feasible. “The Cintel Scanners give us the ability to control scanning quality while minimizing cost and turnaround time,” said partner Greg McLemore. “Previous solutions we looked at were prohibitively expensive, and Cintel has been the first cost-effective, high-quality solution we discovered.”

eFootage relies on two Cintel Scanners, along with 16mm and 35mm Gates and Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader to scan its extensive holdings. “Previously, we had equipment in-house to digitize our 16mm content, but we replaced it as Cintel helps us present the content in higher resolution formats. Our experience with our first Cintel Scanner has been so great and problem-free that adding a second scanner was a no-brainer, and it has helped increase how quickly we can make our collection accessible. Also, we were really excited to hear of the release of the Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader, which allows us to work with mag track audio in-house,” said Lisy.

eFootage has an enormous amount of film and videotape in a variety of formats. In the case of film, eFootage scans both 16mm and 35mm (positive and negative) with the Cintel Scanners, transferring it via Thunderbolt to Mac computers, which ingest the material using DaVinci Resolve Studio. The Teranex 2D Processors are used as part of the archiving process for the videotape library. Time base correctors pass the footage through the Teranex 2D Processors to the computers via Thunderbolt, which record high-quality files using Blackmagic Design’s Media Express software. The recorded files are then transferred to external multi-terabyte drive arrays for further web server processing and display.
 
“We save the original film material for all our holdings and occasionally go back to it upon client request,” noted McLemore. “Additionally, some of our film content, which had been previously scanned in years past, can now be rescanned at higher resolution and quality using the Cintel Scanners. Currently, we offer upgrade services on material that is not yet featured on the site in higher formats, which can involve rescans on the Cintel or uprezing from SD to HD via the Teranex 2D Processors.”

“The Cintel Scanner’s real-time scanning functionality, reliability and economics, coupled with the Teranex 2D Processor’s high-quality output, are a combination that can’t be beat,” concluded Lisy. “The Teranex 2D Processor is the least time-intensive solution we have found to-date for converting older SD material to HD, and overall, both products are durable and easy to use.”

  • Monday, Aug. 6, 2018
Kathy Bienz named director of North America for IABM
Kathy Bienz
GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK -- 

IABM, the international trade association for suppliers of broadcast and media technology, has appointed Kathy Bienz to serve as its director, Norh America. She takes over from Caryn Cohen who held the role the past four years.
 
An Electrical Engineering Technology graduate, Bienz has more than 20 years’ experience in the broadcast and media industry with major players such as Grass Valley, ChyronHego, Leitch Technology, Harris, Imagine Communications and Snell Advanced Media (SAM). She has worked in a wide range of roles including product management and marketing, channels management, field marketing management, marketing communications and was most recently director of marketing, Americas at SAM.

“I have watched IABM blossom into a major force on the vendor side of the industry over recent years, and I particularly applaud its recent moves to bring the end-user side of the industry into the conversation to provide the platform for collaboration our industry now needs to move forward,” said Bienz.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to carry forward all of IABM’s initiatives in North America and to further grow the family of members here,” she continued. “The enormous range of IABM member benefits that help companies do better business – all for a fraction of the cost of most other association memberships - should make IABM membership an automatic choice for the vast majority of broadcast and media technology companies. I will be carrying that message out strongly into the industry.”

IABM CEO Peter White, stated, “Our previous director, North America, Caryn Cohen, was a real force for change and has done a tremendous job in helping IABM increase its footprint internationally--particularly in North America. Kathy Bienz is the right person to pick up that mantle and carry it forward to the next level. We are delighted she has joined IABM and I look forward to even deeper engagement in the North American market as Kathy brings her very considerable industry experience and technical understanding to bear in her new role.”

  • Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018
Kobe Design University installs Cintel Scanner for film archiving
An archival image from Kobe Design University
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design announced that Kobe Design University has installed Cintel Scanner to archive hundreds of 16mm and 35mm films, some dating back to the 1920s. The project is taking place with the university’s Kobe Planet Film Archive, which collects, preserves and exhibits not only films but also books, posters and equipment related to cinema.

Kobe Design University is an art college founded in 1989 and includes Japan’s largest private film archive. The school has seven departments in total: environmental design, product and interior design, visual design, manga media, fashion and textile design arts and crafts and image arts, which includes courses on films and film production.

Owning more than 16,000 16mm and 35mm films in the Kobe Planet Film Archive, the university focuses on film archive projects, in collaboration with the university’s information library. As a way to contribute to Japanese culture and society, the university digitizes old films archived in the university and in Kobe Planet Film Archive, and also holds screenings using two 35mm projectors and a16mm projector. More than two hundred 16mm films archived in Kobe Design University are currently planned to be digitized, with more than 30 films already digitized with Cintel Scanner.

“Our information library has a collection of about two hundred 16mm films, but after 30 years, the films’ colors are fading and they are entering into the state of decay known as ‘vinegar syndrome.’ The 16mm projector is also too old to be repaired and maintained in a good condition, making it nearly impossible for us to foresee continued screenings in the future. Kobe Planet Film Archive holds many old, deteriorated 35mm films and it was difficult to put them on a projector or even to check the content. That is why digital film archiving became a priority in Kobe, a birthplace of cinema in Japan. And we chose to install Cintel Scanner,” said Prof. Eiji Hashimoto of Kobe Design University.

He explained: “You would need a 35mm projector to watch a 35mm film. However it takes time and effort, and you can’t even rewind or stop a film at will. In addition to that, there are many films whose perforations are lost or which are too curled to be put on a projector. Cintel Scanner is better than projectors in that regard, because it continually and smoothly runs films, without pulling films with strong, intermittent strength. Damaged films can be run slowly, at 4-8 frames per second, so you can digitize old films that you had given up on.”

“We are also using DaVinci Resolve with Cintel Scanner. Using this powerful combination you can digitize silent films from the 1920s, shot with 16 frames per second. After being scanned the digitized data is imported into DaVinci Resolve Studio and rendered into clips of 16 frames per second. That way you can see films at the speed originally intended a hundred years ago. I also like the audio extraction feature, because it supports two types of modulations, density and area. Cintel Scanner is helpful in capturing and preserving not only video but also audio from old films,” he concluded.

  • Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2018
Ikegami to focus on HDR at IBC 2018
Ikegami's HDK-73 camera
NEUSS, Germany -- 

Ikegami, known for advanced cameras and production equipment for television content producers and broadcasters, will introduce its latest HDR-compatible range of camera systems and an expanded range of monitors at the September 14-18 IBC 2018 exhibition in Amsterdam. Exhibiting on stand 12.A31, Ikegami will be represented by senior managers from the company’s global network of sales and support offices.

“The 2018 summer of sport encouraged many production companies to invest in High Dynamic Range which enables them to capture images with a much wider dynamic range than previously possible,” said Michael Lätzsch, Broadcast & Professional Video division manager at Ikegami Electronics (Europe) GmbH. 

“Lighting in television studios is carefully controlled to prevent over-exposure of highlights or corresponding under-exposure of shaded areas. Broadcasters televising large public events from locations such as open-air stadiums or theatre auditoriums face the much greater challenge of real-world lighting; from very bright sunlight on white stadium canopies to the darker detail of shaded viewing stands. 

“Our HDK-99 and HDK-73 cameras allow the full dynamic range to be captured within a single exposure setting, eliminating the need to adjust the optical aperture or imaging sensitivity in mid shot. The difference in picture quality is nothing short of stunning when viewed on HDR-compatible displays such as our new HQLM-3125X broadcast production monitor.

“4K UHD is also attracting an increasing level of attention from content producers as a way to maximise the long-term value of their programmes. The HDK-99 delivers a processed output from its control unit, allowing the camera to be used in a mixed-format production environment.

“The SD to HD transition is still in progress after nearly 20 years and it is quite possible that the transition to UHD will take a similar timescale given the practicalities of delivering high bandwidth content to the viewing public. The Ikegami strategy is to support and encourage the highest possible production standards without forcing the pace of technical development faster than broadcasters choose to adopt.”

HDK-99 Full Digital 3-CMOS Full-HD 1080p HDR Camera
Debuted at the April 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas, the HDK-99 succeeds Ikegami’s very popular HDK-95C as the elite offering in the Unicam HD series. A docking-style camera for portable and studio applications, it employs three 2.6 megapixel high-performance CMOS image sensors delivering high picture quality in HDR at Full-HD 1920 x 1080 resolution with progressive-scan. Processed 4K can be sourced from the camera control unit. 

HLG mode maintains the high contrast required for HDR and conforms to the ITU-R BT.2100 international standard. Noise is less than -62 dB and sensitivity is a high F12. The sensors natively support 1080i /59.94, 1080i/50, 720p/59.94, 720p/50, 1080p/29.97, 1080p/25 and 1080p/23.98.

Also supported are 1080p/59.94, 1080p/50, 1080i/119.88, and 1080i/100 3G HDTV formats. Integral to the HDK-99 is the Ikegami AXII processor which allows fast and precise color matching for live multi-camera applications. A Lens Aberration Correction function minimises resolution loss and colored edging caused mainly by opticallens deviation. 

Quick EZ Focus Assist provides distinct enhancement to the viewfinder signal, enabling the camera operator to make critical focus adjustments. Area size, area color, edge color and display time on the viewfinder are all adjustable from the camera menu.

HDK-73 3-CMOS 1080i HDR Camera 
The Ikegami HDK-73 is a dockable multi-role 1080i high-definition camera designed for SDR and HDR broadcast production. It is available as complete system including CCU, connecting fibre, viewfinder and remote control. Image capture is to 2/3-inch 2.6 megapixel CMOS sensors, each capable of capturing Full-HD 1920 x 1080 resolution images with a dynamic range of 600% in normal mode and an extremely wide 1200% in HLG mode, high sensitivity (F13 at 50 Hz) and high signal-to-noise ratio. The sensors natively support 1080i/59.94 and 1080i/50, as well as 720p/59.94 and 720p/50 scan formats. 

Major features of the HDK-73 include full digital signal processing, advanced digital detail correction with independent horizontal and vertical correction of red, green and blue signals, and optional anti-moiré filtering. Hybrid log gamma processing is operator-selectable for HDR picture origination, enabling high-contrast scenes to be televised with full picture detail across the entire brightness range from highlights, mid-range to shaded areas. 

The HDK-73’s dockable structure allows studio configuration with fibre base stations as well as self-contained operation with a camera adapter for wireless or onsite recording applications. A fibre adapter can be attached directly to the camera head without need for external cables. External devices such as wireless transmission or a solid-state recorder can be attached for standalone operation, making the camera suitable for live sports, news gathering or field production.

HQLM Series and HEM Series Monitors
Ikegami is expanding its range of monitors with six new models:

The HQLM-3125X HDR broadcast master monitor employs a 4,096×2,160 pixel 10-bit resolution LED-backlit double-LCD panel with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a panel brightness of 1,000 candela per square metre. Fully compliant with BT.2020 wide color gamut, the HQLM-3125X incorporates single-channel 12G-SDI x 2, 3G-SDI × 5, 3G/HD-SDI and HDMI inputs as standard features. Square-division and two-sample interleave sources can be connected to the monitor via 3G-SDI × 4.  Viewing angle for critical image evaluation is a wide 178 degrees (horizontal/vertical). In addition to its picture monitoring role, the HQLM-3125X can operate as a waveform monitor and vectorscope. It can also display vertical-interval timecode, eight channel SDI-embedded audio level and closed-caption subtitles.

The HQLM-3120W is a 31 inch 4K/HD production monitor equipped with two 12G-SDI input channels as standard for efficient configuration with 4K equipment such as cameras and switchers. 3G-SDI, HD-SDI and HDMI inputs are also provided as standard. It employs a 4096 x 2160 pixel UHD LCD panel using LED backlight and can reproduce high resolution 4K and 2K images.

Model HQLM-1720WR is a compact UHD HDR monitor equipped with two 12G-SDI input channels as standard for efficient configuration with 4K equipment such as cameras and switchers. 3G-SDI, HD-SDI and HDMI inputs are also provided as standard. It employs a 16.5 inch 3840×2160 pixel UHD LCD panel using LED backlight and can reproduce high resolution 4K and 2K images. Weight is just 9.5 kg.

The HLM-2460W is a 24-inch Full-HD monitor with a 1920×1200 pixel 400 candela per square metre 10-bit resolution LCD panel. It offers very narrow front-to-back dimensions, light weight and low power consumption.  Multi-format SDI. 3G-SDI, HDMI, Ethernet and VBS inputs are provided as standard. The HLM-2460W achieves real pixel allocation without resizing. Its gradation characteristics also make it ideal for a wide range of broadcast applications, including use in monitor walls. A smaller version with similar features, the HLM-1760WR has a 17-inch  display (with a Full-HD 1920×1080 pixel 450 candela per square metre 10-bit resolution LCD panel).

The Ikegami HLM-960WR is a highly compact multi-format LCD monitor with a 9-inch Full HD 1920×1080 pixel 400 candela per square metre 8-bit resolution LCD panel. This models offer very narrow front-to-back dimensions, light weight and low power consumption. The HLM-960WR is economical in power consumption (AC or DC). An optional battery bracket is available. The monitor has a USB connector on the front panel, allowing setup file storage and recall, as well as control-menu navigation via a plug-in pointing device.

  • Thursday, Jul. 26, 2018
Avid makes MediaCentral | Editorial Management available for post workflows
BURLINGTON, Mass. -- 

Avid® (Nasdaq: AVID) has announced the immediate availability of MediaCentral® | Editorial Management, an all-inclusive collaboration platform that empowers entire teams to take part in media creation workflows. MediaCentral | Editorial Management delivers intuitive media management in a streamlined user interface. With greater integration, speed, and collaboration, everyone from small editorial teams to larger post facilities can benefit from the platform.

Part of Avid’s latest video postproduction workflow innovations, MediaCentral | Editorial Management is a simple-to-deploy asset management tool that enables small-to-mid-size post and broadcast teams to collaborate through secure, reliable and easily configured media workflows from both an integrated panel inside Media Composer®, as well as from a web browser and mobile clients. Enabled by Editorial Management’s new HyperBin architecture, for the first time ever, assistants and producers can create and modify HyperBins, add locators and metadata, create subclips, and perform other asset management tasks—all from MediaCentral | Cloud UX, an easy to use web browser interface, freeing the editor to spend more time creating and less time finding and managing media.  

“Being a mid-sized production studio in an atypical market we need to be as nimble and cost effective as possible, expanding project and media management tasks outside of Media Composer allows our team to collaborate with the speed and efficiency we need to take on demanding jobs under tight deadlines,” said Scott Roy, SVP of post at Trailblazer Studios, which has been beta testing MediaCentral | Editorial Management. “MediaCentral | Editorial Management allows our teams to stay in sync by giving our show runners, story producers and assistant editors the ability to work within the same environment as our editorial team, giving them the tools they need to contribute to the story without ever having to leave their creative applications.”

“Video postproduction teams face greater pressure than ever before to work faster in higher resolutions like 4K and 8K,” said Alan Hoff, VP, market solutions at Avid. “MediaCentral | Editorial Management is designed specifically to meet the needs of smaller postproduction and broadcast teams working with Avid NEXIS®, giving them enhanced collaborative capabilities, greater control over their media assets, and the ability to stay in complete sync so that they can turn around their projects on time and at the highest quality.”

  • Thursday, Jul. 26, 2018
Broadcasters turn to FOR-A for live world football event coverage
FOR-A FRC-9000 frame rate converter
TOKYO -- 

With almost half the world’s population tuning in to the 2018 world football event, high-resolution and reliable, live video of the games was critical to broadcasters throughout the globe. Some of the worlds’ premier public broadcasters trusted FOR-A to deliver the most pristine imagery in a multitude of formats to fervent fans watching the quadrennial event.

Broadcasters in Japan, Korea and the European continent deployed FOR-A technology to ensure audiences all over the globe received glitch-free views of the entire contest.

Four FOR-A FRC-9000 4K/HD frame rate converters or HD and SD signal conversion one FOR-A MFR-8000 4K/8K routing switcher were used by European broadcasters to supply properly formatted, live coverage.

A premier Japanese broadcaster went with six FRC-9000 frame rate converters for error-free live broadcasts of the month-long contest from Russian to its viewership in Japan.

A broadcaster in Korea selected a total of 18 FRC-9000 frame rate converters for its coverage, with two of the converters being used within a 4K production system, and the remaining providing conversions within an HD system.

“This is the ultimate test for our frame rate conversion technology,” said Takaaki Imoto, sr. general manager of FOR-A Overseas Sales & Marketing Division. “The world football event is one of the most prestigious sporting events covered by broadcasters all over the world. There are many conversions that must be done live to get the properly formatted signals to their destination. It’s a complex task that FOR-A makes look easy for our customers. We congratulate these broadcasters for their spectacular world football event coverage.”

The FRC-9000 4K/HD frame rate converter supports 3G, HD and SD. It provides SD to 3G/HD up conversion; interlace to progressive conversion; conversion with motion compensated processing; optional 4K (UHD, SQD/2SI) support; and simultaneous conversion of two-channel video inputs.

MFR-8000 4K/8K routing switcher features an expanded matrix of up to 256 inputs/256 outputs in a 16U frame. It has a 12G-SDI I/O and gearbox support. It supports 3G-SDI(Level A/B), HD-SDI, SD-SDI and ASI signal input/output with automatic signal type detection.

  • Tuesday, Jul. 24, 2018
Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser named exec board member for technology at the ARRI Group
Professor Franz Kraus (l) and Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser
MUNICH, Germany -- 

The supervisory board of ARRI Group with headquarters in Munich, appointed Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser, effective September 1, 2018, as the new executive board member responsible for technology. He is the successor to Professor Franz Kraus who, after more than 30 years of highly successful work for the ARRI Group, joins the supervisory board and will continue to be closely associated with the company.

Kraus, with his vision and many innovative developments, has played a decisive role in the successful development of ARRI over that last few decades. He earned great merits in his tenure especially during the digitalization of the film industry with the development of the ALEXA digital camera system and early competence in multi-channel LED technology for ARRI lighting. During the time Kraus was responsible for research and development at ARRI, the company was presented with nine Scientific and Technical Awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its outstanding technical achievements. In 2011, together with two colleagues, he was personally honored with an Academy Award of Merit, an Oscar statuette—the highest award in the film industry worldwide—for the design and development of the digital film recorder, the ARRILASER, which pioneered the development of digital products at ARRI.

Neuhaeuser previously served as VP of automotive microcontroller development at Infineon Technologies in Munich. He studied electrical engineering at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, subsequently completed his doctorate in semiconductor devices, and can look back on an international career of 30 years in the electronics industry. Neuhaeuser started his industrial career at Siemens Semiconductor in Villach, Austria, and also took over leadership development at MICRAM Microelectronic in Bochum. He joined Infineon Technologies in 1998 where he performed various management functions in Germany and abroad. Some of his notable accomplishments include being responsible for the digital cordless business since 2005 and, together with his team, having developed the world’s first fully integrated DECT chip. In 2009, he was appointed to VP and general manager at Infineon Technologies Romania in Bucharest where, as country manager, he built up various local activities with more than 300 engineers. In 2012, he was asked to head up the automotive microcontroller development division for which he and his team developed the highly successful AURIX product family.

  • Monday, Jul. 23, 2018
DaVinci Resolve Studio deployed for editing, grading and audio post on Elton John projects
Chris Sobchack
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design has announced that DaVinci Resolve Studio and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel are being used by video director John Steer and on-tour postproduction specialist Chris Sobchack for end-to-end post on a variety of video productions for Grammy-winning legend and singer/songwriter Elton John.

A Micro Studio Camera 4K is also used on tour, in conjunction with a Micro Cinema Camera, Video Assist and Video Assist 4K to shoot interview and behind-the-scenes (BTS) footage, along with HyperDeck Studio Pro and HyperDeck Studio Mini to record the live performances, and MultiView 4 to monitor camera feeds. Teranex Mini and UltraStudio Express are also used to send camera signals to the video wall on stage.

“While on tour, John and I are responsible for shooting and post on a variety of video productions, such as content for Elton’s YouTube channel, clips for broadcast television and award shows, packages for fan clubs and VIPs, dedication videos, and more,” said Sobchack. “It can involve archival footage, current tour footage and new footage that we, or outside video production companies, shoot, such as interviews and BTS, so we rely heavily on DaVinci Resolve Studio in post to bring everything together, often on very tight deadlines.”

The process involves taking tour footage with reference audio tracks from the sound engineer and deconstructing the footage, along with archival elements, BTS and newly shot footage, into component shots for editing, grading and audio sweetening all in DaVinci Resolve Studio. According to Sobchack, audio post can be as simple as compression and leveling, or as complex as getting some or all of the multi-track files the team records each night to augment, or even create a complete studio mix. “I’ll also add and keyframe audience microphones to enhance the live ambiance or use the Fairlight page to minutely fix any visual sync issues,” he noted.

For editing, Steer splices the archival footage, BTS and newly shot footage with the raw footage from the tour’s live shows. “I handle the offline edit, while Chris handles the online, and that’s where DaVinci Resolve Studio works so well, as we can work simultaneously by sharing files back and forth,” he said. “I also use DaVinci Resolve Studio to make copies of the whole show in a lower resolution, so we have a backup viewing copy. We use DaVinci Resolve Studio to put together everything from video idents to full songs from the show while we are on the road touring, and I find it so intuitive and easy to use. Also, with Fairlight, it’s so easy to sweeten the audio, and its features keep expanding.”

As Steer noted, Sobchack is responsible for online editing, grading, audio editing and sweetening, and delivery.

“During the live performances, the lighting is constantly changing, and overall, the footage is darker than what’s needed for broadcast or the web, as the concerts are lit for the human eye rather than for a camera. My main objective is to retain the flair of the live show’s lighting design, but also be able see Elton’s face. I also have to make the performance footage cohesive with any BTS or newly shot footage,” explained Sobchack. “In DaVinci Resolve Studio, I use gradients, vignettes on faces, HSL qualifiers and Power Windows to brighten things up and meld the radically different colors in the shots.”

He continued, “I also reframe shots on occasion and rely on DaVinci Resolve Studio’s temporal noise reduction. Since we don’t shoot in light that is really video project-friendly, when we make the kinds of adjustments we need for broadcast, especially if it’s being up-resed for a prime time network for instance, this feature can take a shot from a zoomed in camera that was 60 yards away from the stage and make it look perfect.”

As multi-camera recording has not been feasible on the tour, the footage also has burned in transitions, so when grading, Sobchack picks a cut point from shot A to shot B and implements an animated color transition using keyframes, ensuring the first frame of shot B matches the last frame of shot A. “Instead of using primary wheels, I use levels, and being able to jot down numbers and easily match them using the DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel is great. The panel not only adds a great tactile feel to my workflow, but since it has both dedicated and soft, page-specific knobs, it really lets me dial in and drop down to exact values, which helps with getting everything to match really quickly,” added Sobchack.

He concluded, “John and I have our regular tour duties on top of the video production work, so there’s no time for transcoding and bouncing between programs. DaVinci Resolve Studio is a one-stop-shop that gives us the capability to go from media ingest all the way through to final output in one system, and that capability is huge.”

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